Alpine goats are some of the best animals to have on a farm. Not only are they easy to care for, but they also have positive characteristics that you will enjoy. Knowing how to care for alpine goats will allow you to enjoy your farm even more.
Things You'll Need
- Alfalfa pellets
- Sweet corn
- Water bucket
- Bag balm
- Milking area
- Hoof clippers
If you have a young Alpine goat that is not weened yet, make sure he gets a combination of food and milk. This age is also a good time to allow your goat to get used to you. At 10 to 12 weeks old, decide whether your goat should keep his horns.
Feed them right. In the cartoons, you may have seen Alpine goats eating the tops of shoes off. However, you want to make sure that your goat gets more than that. You should feed them alfalfa hay once in the morning and once in the evening. They won't need more than a few mouthfuls each. You can also consider feeding them treats of corn or alfalfa pellets. This gives them some variety and a snack to munch on.
Keep them watered. Goats need water and a lot of it. Make sure that you keep their water bowl filled with fresh water at all times. You can use a bucket or a pan that is just big enough for them to drink out of, but not too big or too small to keep the water in.
Milking rules. One of the best parts of having female Alpine goats is the ability to get fresh goat milk every day. It is recommended that you get a milking station for the goats. This will lock them into an area where you can milk, but they can't move their heads or get away. If you don't want them to kick the bucket, put a little bit of sweet corn in a can in the front so that they can stay occupied.
You will start milking them by putting bag balm on their utter. Make sure that when you milk, you squeeze at the top first, then work your way down. You will also want to make sure that you don't leave any milk in them, as this can cause health problems. Make sure you milk them once in the morning and once in the evening, preferably before they eat their food.
Show them extra attention. Unless you want your goats to run completely wild, make sure that you pay attention to what they are doing. If you can walk your goat once every other day, it will help to keep them tame and will make it easier to milk them. Do this by wrapping a collar around their neck and walking them down the road or in the backyard.
Get into grooming. Once or twice a year, you should make sure that your Alpine goat is well groomed. You will start with clipping their hooves. You want to make sure that they don't get too long or start to bend as this can cause them to be uncomfortable. Clean out the hooves first, then clip them until they are right by the white area. You should also groom them by bathing them once or twice a year and brushing them out.
Watch their living quarters. A basic goat pen should include some roaming area, as well as a shelter to get out of the rain. Make sure that these stay clean by shoveling them out once or twice a year. If it gets cold, you can also add in some hay for temporary insulation.